Short period small magnitude seismograms mainly comprise scattered waves in the form of coda waves (the tail part of the seismogram, starting after S-waves and ending when the noise prevails), spanning more than 70% of the whole seismogram duration. Corresponding coda envelopes provide important information about the earth inhomogeneity, which can be stochastically modeled in terms of distribution of scatterers in a random medium. In suitable experimental conditions (i.e. high earth heterogeneity) either the two parameters describing heterogeneity (scattering coefficient), intrinsic energy dissipation (coefficient of intrinsic attenuation) or a combination of them (extinction length and seismic albedo) can be used to image Earth structures. Once a set of such parameter couples has been measured in a given area and for a number of sources and receivers, imaging their space distribution with standard methods is straightforward. However, as for finite-frequency and full-waveform tomography, the essential problem for a correct imaging is the determination of the weighting function describing the spatial sensitivity of observable data to scattering and absorption anomalies. Due to the nature of coda waves, the measured parameter-couple can be seen as a weighted space average of the real parameters characterizing the rock volumes illuminated by the scattered waves. This paper uses the Monte Carlo numerical solution of the Energy Transport Equation to find approximate but realistic 2D space-weighting functions for coda waves. Separate images for scattering and absorption based on these sensitivity functions are then compared with those obtained with commonly-used sensitivity functions in an application to data from an active seismic experiment carried out at Deception Island (Antarctica). Results show the that these novel functions are based on a reliable and physically grounded method to image magnitude and shape of scattering and absorption anomalies. Their extension to 3D holds promise to improve our ability to model volcanic structures using coda waves.
- seismic attenuation
- seismic tomography
- wave scattering and diffraction